A Brief History of Baytown, TX
A town just outside of Houston, Baytown, Texas has a rich oil history that has helped build the industry as we know it today. The city itself is really old, and began being settled in the early 1800’s, with settler Nathaniel Lynch being one of the first. Nathaniel built the Lynchburg Ferry system, which helped the town’s population grow larger as it became more accessible. Today, the city is rather large, the sixth largest in its metropolitan area, with a population of just over 70,000 people. Since its inception, it has been a rich and crucial part of the history, with events in and around Baytown helping to shape the state and the country as we know it today.
Early History of Baytown, TX
Before the city was established as we know it, and even long before America was established as a country, it saw a brief exciting history that shaped the country. One of these events was the shipwreck of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. A Spanish conquistador, Cabeza de Vaca became the first European to step foot on Texas soil when he and his crew were shipwrecked on the coast near Baytown. Cabeza de Vaca and his crew went through some harrowing experiences, but upon their return to Spain they inspired many other explorers to venture to what would eventually become Texas.
About a century after Cabeza de Vaca and his crew made their leave, the east Texas area became ruled by a pirate named Jean Laffite. They set up a pirate colony in the area that they called “Campeche.” Lafitte’s treasure has been found in the area as recently as the 1960’s.
Texas Revolutionary War
The Texas Revolutionary War is one of the most monumental historical events that have taken place in Baytown and the surrounding areas. The Texas Revolution was a clash between the Mexican government and Americans who had colonized the state, with both parties feeling that the other had encroached on their territory. Some of the state’s most famous generals fought in the Texas Revolutionary War and owned property in Baytown, including Sam Houston. The Battle of San Jacinto was the last battle of the Texas Revolutionary War before the Mexican Army retreated. This battle took place just outside of the city, and a large monument to the battle is visible from the homes of many residents to this day.
Today, Baytown has a thriving economy based on the industries in and surrounding the town. The city namely has plants that produce oil, rubber, and chemicals. In 1916, the Humble Oil and Refining Company were founded, now better known as Exxon Mobile. Being home to companies such as Exxon Mobile and Chevron Phillips strengthens their economy and provides jobs to locals. The community is incredibly diverse due to the port of Houston being so nearby, as well as the Mexican border. It is a city rich with history and a background that has heavily shaped its modern identity.